MTPR

Kootenai National Forest

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 31, 2018

Jul 31, 2018
Fire Danger very high today.
Josh Burnham

Since Monday, one new fire has been discovered in the Kootenai National Forest. The Ten Mile Fire is burning 15 to 20 acres in the Rexford and Fortine Ranger Districts. That brings to 21 the number of lightning-caused fires discovered on the Kootenai since this weekend.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 30, 2018

Jul 30, 2018
The Lee Creek fire burning near Lolo Hot Springs was spotted July 29, 2018 from a Forest Service detection flight.
Lolo National Forest

 


Updated and corrected: 5:35 p.m., 07/30/18

Twenty fires have flared up in the Kootenai National Forest, all caused by lightning from weekend storms.

Most of the fires are only burning a few acres, but the Davis Fire is now reported at 1,000 acres in size, according to a post on the Kootenai National Forest Facebook page. A fire spokesperson told MTPR Monday afternoon that the Davis fire was only 50 acres.

U.S. Forest Service

Highway 37 Fire, Kootenai National Forest Update 5:22 p.m. July 23, 2018

The Highway 37 Fire burning near Libby’s asbestos superfund site is 10 percent contained as of Monday afternoon. The 50-acre blaze did not grow much over the weekend. A team of 10 specially trained firefighters, a decontamination crew, a hotshot team and two engine crews made progress digging containment line around the fire’s perimeter, aided by helicopter dousing hot spots.

Firefighter safety is of particular concern on the Highway 37 Fire north of Libby because of its proximity to a patch of asbestos-contaminated forest.

Among the 50 firefighters working the blaze is a group of 10 specially trained responders. They wear respirators and undergo a full body decontamination after digging fire line in a section of forest with high levels of asbestos fibers, a harmful remnant of the old W.R. Grace vermiculite mine.

The town of Libby. The Highway 37 Fire is burning 1.5 miles away from the former W.R. Grace vermiculite mine.
Courtesy Photo

Highway 37 fire, updated 4:20 p.m. July 20, 2018

A fire near the former vermiculite mine and a section of asbestos-contaminated forest outside Libby is drawing a quick response from crews working to control it.

The Highway 37 Fire, spotted Thursday evening about 4 miles north of Libby, quickly grew to about 50 acres today.

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